Sheila Dikshit was Prashant Kishor's idea for UP CM candidate

Months of speculation came to an end on Thursday, when the Congress leadership announced that former Delhi Chief Minister and former Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit will be the party's CM candidate in Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking to the media, Dikshit thanked the Congress leadership and said:

The Congress had  been indecisive over its Uttar Pradesh strategy ever since it was reduced to double digits by the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. However, the scale of the campaigning acceptable to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra remains unknown. in fact, when asked about Priyanka's role in the upcoming polls, Dikshit said:

Election strategist Prashant Kishor had recommended that Dikshit should play a major role in the party's poll campaign in the state as she is a prominent Brahmin face and could help Congress regain support of the electorally sizeable and significant community, whose support determines the poll outcome in several seats.

The community, a traditional vote bank of the Congress, shifted allegiance to BJP in the aftermath of the emergence of Mandir-Mandal politics. A large chunk of Brahmin votes had also gone to Mayawati's BSP in the past when she gave tickets to many candidates belonging to the community.

Dikshit is scheduled to meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi later in the day.

There was a buzz that 78-year-old Dikshit, who ruled Delhi from 1999 to 2014 before being thrown out of power by the AAP could be Congress' Chief Ministerial candidate. Sheila Dikshit is the daughter-in-law of prominent Congress leader from UP Uma Shankar Dikshit, who served as Union minister and governor for a long time.


The Congress is trying to regain the lost ground in UP where currently it has just 30 MLAs in the 403-member assembly. Congress could win only two seats of Amethi and Rae Bareli in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls represented by Rahul and Sonia Gandhi respectively.

The Brahmin community plays a significant role in election outcome in central and eastern UP as it is the dominant caste in these areas.

With inputs from PTI

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jul 14, 2016 17:02:15 IST

Also See